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December 31, 2013

Arizona runs over Boston College in AdvoCare V100 Bowl

Awards are one thing, but Ka'Deem Carey showed Tuesday afternoon that there may need to be a re-vote for some of college football's major honors.

Behind its star running back's 169 yards and two touchdowns, Arizona throttled Boston College, 42-19, in the AdvoCare V100 Bowl at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, La.

Wildcats quarterback B.J. Denker completed 17 of 24 throws for 275 passing yards and two touchdowns - both to Trey Griffey. Denker, who also collected 51 yards and a score on the ground, was named the game's offensive most valuable player.

True freshman receiver Nate Phillips added nine catches for a career-high 193 yards, setting a new bowl game record. It also was the first 100-yard receiving game of the season for Arizona.

The win capped back-to-back eight-win seasons under UA head coach Rich Rodriguez, who is 16-10 through his first two years.

But the story coming in was Carey, a local high school star who may have played his final game in Tucson.

Leading by 15 at the half, UA extended it advantage to 28-6 on Carey's 5-yard run with 12:11 left in the third. Before the quarter was over, Denker, playing in his final collegiate game, added a 14-yard run to push the lead to 29.

The UA defense, meanwhile, continued to stifle Andre Williams, the Doak Walker Award winner who beat out Carey for the honor given to the nation's top running back. The Boston College senior had just 47 yards on 18 first-half carries and finished with 75 on 26 carries.

Williams finally got in the end zone on a 4-yard run with 12 minutes to play, but it was far too late.

All that was left to decide was how much Carey could pad his career rushing totals and school records. The junior is undecided whether he will return to Arizona or bolt for the NFL, and in the postgame interview with ESPN he reiterated that he has not made up his mind.

Carey's career totals now stand at 4,239 rushing yards, 48 rushing touchdowns - 52 total scores - and 5,483 all-purpose yards. The previous all-purpose mark of 5,392 by Dennis Northcutt was broken in the third quarter.

The game also marked his 16th consecutive with at least 100 rushing yards.

After slow starts to the game from the nation's top two rushers, the Wildcats struck first - and quickly. UA marched 92 yards on four plays in 41 seconds, highlighted by catches of 57 and 22 from Phillips.

Carey's 2-yard run at the 7:51 mark helped the 'Cats take a 7-3 lead through one quarter.

But trailing 7-6, the Eagles caught a break when Phillips attempted to hop on a punt return. Instead, BC recovered and retained possession at the UA 40.

William Parks, however, bailed out the freshman receiver/return man. Two plays later, the sophomore safety picked off Chase Rettig at the 31 and returned it 69 yards for the touchdown to extend the Wildcats' lead to 14-6 with 4:16 remaining in the half.

Parks was named the game's defensive most valuable player.

It was Rettig's second interception of the half. UA safety Jared Tevis had one in the first quarter. He finished with 191 passing yards, completing 16 of 26 throws, but was sacked three times.

The two backs continued to take a backseat as Arizona had one more push before halftime.

Denker completed eight of his 12 first-half pass attempts - the last on a 26-yard touchdown to Griffey to cap a 10-play, 80-yard drive with 30 seconds left. The score was sold after Denker pump-faked and found the redshirt freshman over a pair of Eagles defensive backs.

It was the first collegiate touchdown catch of Griffey's career. Coming in, the 6-3, 191-pounder had 11 catches for 129 yards on the season - all in the final three weeks of the regular season.

His father and regular at Arizona games this season, future Hall of Fame baseball star Ken Griffey Jr., was in attendance and taking photos in the back of the opposite end zone as a credentialed media member.

Griffey added a 3-yard grab early in the fourth quarter for his second score of the game.

The Wildcats took a 21-6 lead into the locker room.

Tracy McDannaldTracy McDannald
GOAZCATS.com Senior Editor

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